Is Your Pool Leaking Over the Winter?
Water loss in a pool over the winter can be a headache and can lead to many more problems than just having a pool leak. Depending on the time of the year, your options may be limited as to how you can handle this type of situation.
How can you know if the pool is losing water while it is covered? Many times, the cover will “sag” into the pool (or even collapse), which is a clear indication of water loss. If the cover doesn’t sag, then looking under the cover will tell you if there is a potential leak.
In rare instances, water loss over the winter can be caused by accidentally pumping the water out of the pool. This would occur if there is a solid cover (or tarp) on the pool with a small pump that sits on top to remove rain water. If the cover/tarp has a hole (or holes) in it, then this scenario is possible. If you have a solid pool cover or tarp, the best way to determine if you have pumped the water out of the pool is to fill the pool up, remove the pump from on top of the cover (or unplug the pump), and see if the water loss still occurs.
Typically, all plumbing lines (except for bottom drains) are plugged for the winter, which means they cannot be the cause of a leak. So, if your pool does leak over the winter, the issue is coming from the pool structure, pool light and/or the bottom drain pipes.
A low water level inside a pool for an extended period of time can be dangerous for the pool. In vinyl liner pools, the liner can be damaged (tearing, wrinkling, pulling out of its track), or the pool walls can collapse. In concrete and fiberglass pools, it is possible that the pools can “pop” out of the ground if there is enough hydrostatic pressure underneath the pool from ground water.
So What Should You Do If Your Pool is Leaking Over the Winter?
The most important thing is to not ignore the leak and tell yourself that you will deal with it in the spring. Ignoring the issue could lead to many more problems than just having a pool leak – problems that could end up costing thousands.
The first thing you should do is try to get the leak located and repaired. Almost always, this will require having someone scuba dive the pool in order to locate the leak. Diving the pool over the winter is much more difficult than during the summer (due to low water temperatures). If you are not able to resolve the leak issue after the pool is closed, then you may need to periodically add water to the pool to maintain a safe water level. Adding water to your pool through the winter months can be costly, wasteful and is not easy to do (hoses can freeze, there can be ice, etc.).
Regardless of whether you realize your pool is leaking in October or in February, you need to have a course of action. If you determine that your pool is leaking over the winter, contact us immediately to see how we can help.